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Roach: Khan should be kept away from punchers

 Roach: Khan should be kept away from punchersBy Michael Collins: Freddie Roach hasn’t been officially let go in his job as a trainer for former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KO’s), but it’s expected that Khan will be making an announcement any day now about a new trainer to guide him through his next training camp for his upcoming December 15th fight date.

According to Dan Rafael, Khan’s adviser Asif Vali and father Shah Khan asked Roach to dump his popular fighters Manny Pacquiao and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. This was reportedly something that was needed in order for Khan to stay with Roach, as he wants more time with him and the other popular fighters sometimes get in the way.

Roach said this according to Rafael at ESPN “I thought it was unusual that they [Vali and Shah Khan] they would ask and I left it as: ‘Let me think about it.’ Manny is my guy and I’m not going to leave him. I’m not going to leave Chavez Jr.” Continue reading

ESB Exclusive Interview with boxing trainer Virgil Hunter

“But as far as my personal opinion, and I think that I’m entitled to have my personal opinion like Steve Bunce or anybody else who’s a Joe Calzaghe fan—in my opinion we would have chewed him up!”—Virgil Hunter

 ESB Exclusive Interview with boxing trainer Virgil HunterExclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – Yesterday afternoon I was afforded the opportunity to speak with boxing trainer Virgil Hunter, who recently helped prepare and guide Andre Ward to his tremendous victory last weekend against ‘Bad’ Chad Dawson. Hunter shared his views on training and preparations for that fight, the action that unfolded in the match itself, and future plans for him and Ward. He also provided his unique insight for the upcoming middleweight showdown this Saturday night between Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Junior. Here is a complete transcript from that interview.


GEOFFREY CIANI: Hello everyone. This is Geoffrey Ciani from East Side Boxing and I am joined here today by head trainer Virgil Hunter, who recently helped lead Andre Ward to his spectacular victory against Chad Dawson last weekend. How’s everything going, Virgil?

VIRGIL HUNTER: Everything’s going good today. How are you today?

CIANI: I’m doing very well, thank you. And I have to say Virgil, I was very impressed with Andre’s performance, and the thing that impressed me the most was the way he was able to neutralize Chad’s jab right from the get-go through footwork and upper body movement. I’m wondering is that something you specifically worked on in camp to take away Chad’s jab?

HUNTER: Well that’s one of the specifics that we worked on to take away his jab. Actually the position of his eyes in an area of Chad was the most important thing. If we had the eyes positioned in the right place we knew that his body would be positioned in the right place and that he could maneuver Chad. We wanted to maneuver his jab. We wanted to give him the target that we wanted to give him, so it was very important that the positions were adhered to. So his eyes were the most important thing in that situation, and we worked on that, and once we got the hang of where the eyes were supposed to be, and the position his eyes were supposed to be in and centered on, the rest was pretty easy. Continue reading

Tim Bradley to fight on December 15th in NY, possibly against Provodnikov

 Tim Bradley to fight on December 15th in NY, possibly against ProvodnikovBy Rob Smith: WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KO’s) will be back in the ring on December 15th in a fight that will be taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York against one of three possible opponents, according to RingTV. One of the guys that the 28-year-old Bradley could be facing is #2 WBO light welterweight contender Ruslan Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KO’s).

That’s not exactly appealing choice for Bradley, because he was hoping he could get a big named opponent to fight him next. However, he was passed over by Manny Pacquiao due to a number of factors, one of which was the low PPV totals that his fight with Pacquiao brought in last June.

Provodnikov has been underwhelming against journeyman like DeMarcus Corley and contender Mauricio Herrera. Provodnikov lost to Herrera, and I thought he deserved to lose to Corley last December. It’s a winnable fight for Bradley, and it should guarantee that he’ll be available for a fight agaisnt Pacquiao next year if his promoter Bob Arum is interested in putting him in with Pacquiao. Continue reading

Roach: Chavez Jr’s resistant to moving up to 168 lbs

 Roach: Chavez Jrs resistant to moving up to 168 lbsBy Michael Collins: Trainer Freddie Roach says that he’s tried without success to get WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KO’s) to move up in weight to the super middleweight division in order for him to not to have to struggle at making the 160 pound middleweight limit. Chavez Jr. has been draining down from over 180 lbs to make weight at 160 for his last handful of fights dating back to 2010.

Chavez Jr. then rehydrates back up to 180 come fight time and is effectively a cruiserweight when he steps inside the ring with his opponents. Thus far he’s been able to get away with it because he’s been able to dominate the smaller and mostly limited opposition that his promoter Bob Arum has matched him up against. However, it’s pretty clear that Chavez Jr. won’t be able to drain down indefinitely. He’s going to reach a point soon to where he can no longer safely make weight for his middleweight fights, and will have to move up to 168.

Roach told “I always say that Chavez should go to 168, but he always disagrees with me. He says he’s okay, but I know that I’ve seen him suffer to make that fight. I believe he would be a stronger fighter at 168….He goes into the ring at 180 or 185, and beats up on smaller guys and it has worked out well for him.” Continue reading

Prediction: Sergio Martinez to beat Chavez Jr. by KO

 Prediction: Sergio Martinez to beat Chavez Jr. by KOBy Emilio Camacho, Esq. Several of you have emailed me asking for a prediction for the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. v. Sergio Martinez fight. By popular demand, here it is. First, I want to note that I am making a bold prediction because almost all experts expect the fight to go to decision and most expect Martinez to win on points. I am partly going a step further and here is why.

First, let us look at Chavez. He has youth, great conditioning, a granite chin, a size advantage, and the benefit of having his father’s advice. However, he lacks world-class experience and, the best fighter he faced, Andy Lee, in my opinion, was a overrated. More significantly, Chavez does not use his height advantage at all because his fighting style is better tailored for someone smaller like his father.

Although Roach has attempted to get him boxing a bit more to use his reach advantage, he falls back into brawler mode and looping punches to the body quite easily. Given these considerations, the only way I see Chavez winning this fight is if he is able to slow Martinez down with body shots, get Martinez on the ropes or fighting close, and pound the middle weight champion to submission with his weight advantage and relentless aggression. However, I believe this is unlikely to happen as I will explain after I analyze Martinez’s advantages. Continue reading

Ghana’s Commey fights Hughes in UK Saturday night

 Ghana’s Commey fights Hughes in UK Saturday nightBy Prince Dornu-Leiku: Ghana Lightweight champion, Richard Oblitey Commey, hopes to further enhance his world title credentials when he makes his second straight appearance at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, United Kingdom tomorrow night against British boxer Kris Hughes in an 8-round contest.

The Ghanaian pugilist beat Lithuania’s Simas Volosinas back on July 7 at the same venue in what was his first fight outside Ghana and now returns to face a much stronger test against 24 year old Hughes whose last fight was when losing a bid for the Commonwealth Super Bantamweight title to Carl Frampton.

Derek Wandell, Matchmaker for Commey (12-0, 12KOs), has promised the Ghanaian a date for the WBC International silver Lightweight belt against Tommy Coyle if wins against southpaw Hughes (15-2, 1 KO) who is already scheduled to also fight Bulgarian Yordan Vasilev in October. Continue reading

Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez: Just the facts!

 Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez: Just the facts!by Robert Jackson: The ‘Just the facts’ series has held court for many fights dating back to the Mayweather/De La Hoya matchup, and since then has offered a technical perspective in regards to the upcoming ‘BIG’ fight, ending with the big reveal. Today’s edition will analyze and try to figure out the viability of ‘the Son of a legend’, and also, Argentina’s own Maravilla. Trainers, training and conditioning, and the all important intangibles will be discussed and dissected.


Sergio Martinez’ trainer Pablo Sarmiento is the brother of Martinez’ original trainer Gabriel Sarmiento who guided Maravilla earlier in his career. Pablo first worked the corner of Martinez as head trainer during the Sergei Dziniruk fight, a fight where Martinez got a KO in the late rounds. In the following 2 fights Martinez was able to get KO’s in both fights. The relationship between fighter and trainer appears to be like that of 2 brothers.

Freddie Roach trainer of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, as portrayed during HBO’s 24/7 series at best appears to be just a ‘corner man’. It didn’t look like much gymwork and mitts work that Roach is known for was done between the hall of fame trainer and his charge. Chavez Jr chose odd hours to get his work outs in and worked mitts with another trainer as shown during the 24/7 docudrama. Roach’s disappointment was obvious during the 2 episode series. How close to reality this trainer/fighter relationship no one will know until fight night. Continue reading

Andre Berto to fight Cornelius Bundrage on November 24th

By Michael Collins: Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KO’s) will reportedly be making a move up in weight in his next fight on November 24th against IBF junior middleweight champion Cornelius Bundrage (32-4, 19 KO’s). There’s no question that this is a risky fight for both Bundrage and Berto. However, this could be a more tougher fight for Berto being that he hasn’t fought and entire year since last September. He’ll be facing a big puncher in Bundrage whole coming off of a long layoff. Continue reading

Roach: Sergio Martinez isn’t a great boxer; Chavez Jr. is going to knock him out

By Rob Smith: Sergio Martinez (49-2-2, 28 KO’s) is going to have to make a believer out of WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KO’s) and especially his trainer Freddie Roach, who is predicting a knockout victory for the young 26-year-old Chavez Jr. on Saturday. Continue reading

Bradley targeting Mayweather Jr

By Marcus Richardson: Tim Bradley is now officially out of the running for a mega fight against Manny Pacquiao for December 8th. Bradley had to wait around for months to finally discover that he’s not going to get the fight. Needless to say he’s not happy about being passed over by Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum for the big money rematch. However, Bradley is now hoping to hit the ground running by getting an even better money fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Continue reading

Roach still blaming Pacquiao’s poor performance against Marquez last November on marital problems

By Rob Smith: Trainer Freddie Roach still isn’t giving Juan Manuel Marquez full credit for coming up with a perfect fight in giving then WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao fits in their fight last November in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pacquiao ended up winning the fight by a controversial 12 round majority decision, but many boxing fans to this day still believe that Marquez should have been given the win. Pacquiao and Marquez are now going to be facing each other again when they meet on December 8th in Las Vegas in what will be their fourth fight. Continue reading

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez: Should the boxing world judge slowly?

 Saul “Canelo” Alvarez: Should the boxing world judge slowly?(Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME) By Joseph Herron: Like many great fighters of yesteryear, the boxing world has witnessed many great champions cultivated with a careful guiding hand.

Most recently, the career of Canelo Alvarez’s famed promoter Oscar De La Hoya was nurtured cautiously by the vigilant eye of Hall of Fame matchmaker Bruce Trampler and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.

The Top Rank brass knew what they potentially had and elected to carefully navigate the Golden Boy’s career during the early stages of his rise to super stardom. Many ringside critics and boxing experts criticized the star-making machine, asserting that Oscar was a padded fighter who was purposely avoiding the stiffest competition available.

Although the five division champion currently possesses great disdain for his former handler, De La Hoya has learned very important lessons from the masters at Top Rank and is utilizing the same promotional tactics to develop his WBC Junior Middleweight Champion.

With a true architect of the sport like the great Don Chargin overseeing the 21 year old fighter’s career, Oscar has placed Alvarez in a position to succeed and possibly become the next big star of boxing. Continue reading

Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

 Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(Photo credit: Sumio Yamada) By Paul Strauss: What’s a silly movie made in 1966, starring Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers and Buster Keaton got to do with this Saturday night’s HBO PPV fight night at the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV? Maybe it should be rephrased to …….”Life is what happens when you’re making plans”, or in this case game plans.

In the classic matchups between boxers and punchers, we expect the puncher to attack, hoping to land the big shot. If that doesn’t work, it’s expected he will continue applying extreme pressure, enforcing a threat, hoping to wear down his opponent and then eventually administering the coup de grace (or a series of them if necessary). On the other hand, the boxer is often expected to stay away, jabbing, moving and building up points in hopes of getting a decision. It’s not that unusual to expect he might even get lucky and cut the slugger and get a TKO. It’s pretty simple, right? The fighter who is best at carrying out his fight plan wins the fight.

However, more often than not, funny things happen along the way, and you’ll hear losing fighters in post-fight interviews say things like, “I just couldn’t get off tonight” or “He was faster and stronger than I expected” (Chad Dawson). Maybe the funny thing is “He was in a zone” or “He was really up for this one.” It is an emotional thing that can cause an announcer on nights like that to describe the high level of a fighter’s motivation by saying, “There’s something funny going on here”. (Can you say Buster Douglas) Sometimes new words are even invented as a result of the surprise, such as “rope-a-dope”. Continue reading

JC Chavez Jr. set the trap…has Maravilla already taken the bait?

 JC Chavez Jr. set the trap…has Maravilla already taken the bait?By Joseph Herron: Great trainers insist to every fighter who walks through their gym to leave all emotion at the door. The sport of pugilism is not about violence, but built on sportsmanship, discipline, and athleticism.

Most decisions a fighter makes in the ring based on emotion almost always leads to a disappointing result. Adversely, every logical and intellectual judgment made within the hostile confines of the squared circle usually results in a satisfying performance and a victory.

Leading up to this Saturday’s main event at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, the fighter most affectionately known as “Maravilla” has been uncharacteristically carrying around a sack full of emotion based largely on pride, vengeance, and anger.

Will the universally recognized Middleweight Champion decide to leave his emotions at the door of the Thomas & Mack Center this Saturday night? Team Chavez certainly hopes that he doesn’t.

On July 14th, 2012, we witnessed a similar dramatic situation unfold in the ring. Continue reading

Would Chavez Jr. be popular if he didn’t have a famous father?

 Would Chavez Jr. be popular if he didnt have a famous father?By Michael Collins: In looking at how average WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-0-1, 32 KO’s) has looked throughout his boxing career, including his time as the WBC 160 pound champion, one has to wonder whether the 26-year-old Chavez Jr. would be as popular as he is now if his father wasn’t the famous former boxing great Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. Chavez Jr. is able to draw huge crowds in stadiums and draw big ratings on HBO despite looking very mediocre.

To be sure, Chavez Jr. is winning fights but a huge part of that seems to be based on his size. He’s winning on being the much heavier fighter compared to the smaller middleweights he’s been facing. That’s part of the criticism of Chavez Jr. He’s like a light heavyweight/cruiserweight sized fighter that is somehow still able to get down to middleweight to compete against smaller guys and get and advantage in doing so.

If you compare Chavez Jr. to his father Chavez Sr. it’s like night and day. Chavez Sr. was had a ton of talent. Everything was so easy for him. He had big time power in both hands, he was light on his feet, and he never had to dehydrate down to fight smaller guys. Chavez Sr. was made for fighting. Continue reading